Soqotri speakers live on their islands, but rarely on the Yemeni mainland. The language was, through its history, isolated from the Arabian mainland. Arabic is also spoken in a dialectal form on Socotra.
The isolation of the island of Socotra has led to the Soqotri language independently developing certain phonetic characteristics absent in even the closely related languages of the mainland. In all the known dialects of Soqotri, there is a lack of distinction between the original South Arabic interdentals θ, ð, and θˁ and the stops t, d and ṭ: e.g. Soqotri has dərh / do:r / dɔ;r (blood), where Shehri for instance has ðor; Soqotri has ṭarb (a piece of wood), where the other South Arabian languages have forms starting with θˁ; Soqotri trih (two) corresponds to other South Arabian forms beginning with θ.
Soqotri once had ejective stops and fricatives. However, the fricatives have become largely pharyngealized, like the Arabic emphatic consonants, and this occasionally happens to the stops as well. Apart from that, the phonemic inventory is basically that of Mehri.